Over $20 million in taxpayer funds could be saved at the end of President Donald Trump’s first term in office due to his leaner White House operation.
A new report on the White House office personnel revealed that Trump has a significantly smaller staff than his predecessor did at this time, according to an analysis by Open the Books, a government watchdog organization that focuses on spending.
“Although the White House personnel budget is an infinitesimal part of the $3.9 trillion federal budget, it is an important forecasting indicator showing Trump’s deep commitment to cut the size, scope and power of the federal government and reign in waste,” wrote Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of Open the Books, in an op-ed for Forbes.
As of June 30, the White House currently employs 374 people, three fewer than were employed in 2017. That’s also significantly lower than the 469 that were employed in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama.
In addition to maintaining a smaller staff size, Trump’s White House has also cut payroll by over $5 million when compared to Obama’s 2015 staff. The 2018 payroll currently sits at $35.2 million, in contrast to the 2015 payroll, which Open the Books reported exceeded $40.9 million.
Open the Books also noted that by maintaining a smaller staff and by refusing to take a salary, Trump has already saved $11 million in taxpayer dollars, and “four-year savings could easily top $22 million.”
Each quarter, Trump has donated his salary, including to the Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Among the various areas in the West Wing with reduced staff, the office of first lady Melania Trump is notable. Trump has a staff under half the size of then-first lady Michelle Obama’s in 2009. Trump currently has 10 staffers, while Obama had 24.